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Olivier’s legacy helps new generation of actors at Swiss Cottage school

PUBLISHED: 20:18 05 December 2011

Sir Laurence Olivier originally started the Pivot Club, which has donated to Central Speech and Drama School where he studied. Picture: PA Archive

Sir Laurence Olivier originally started the Pivot Club, which has donated to Central Speech and Drama School where he studied. Picture: PA Archive

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A Swiss Cottage drama school is offering grants and bursaries worth more than £120,000 in the coming academic year - thanks to the legacy of old pupil Sir Laurence Olivier.

The Central School of Speech and Drama, in Eton Avenue, has made more than 40 new scholarships available for its masters programme, as well as bursaries to support undergraduates in financial hardship.

Professor Ross Brown, dean of studies, said: “Investing in scholarships is part of our history and is core to Central’s contemporary mission to put students at the heart of everything we do. Investing in students helps guarantee the future of theatre making.”

A number of new donors came via the re-launched Pivot Club - an organisation originally started by alumni Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Peggy Ashcroft to raise money for talented students without means.

The announcement comes just weeks after another former pupil, author and producer Linda McDougall, said she believed the school would struggle to attract new students. She said students were more likely to take qualifications that lead directly to jobs.

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